East Hawaii News

Hawai’i’s Public Education System Moving Forward

March 6, 2015, 1:16 PM HST
* Updated March 6, 1:47 PM
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Hawai’i has made significant progress, according to the United States Department of Education. The progress, which has been accredited to USDOE systematic reforms, was recognized in a monitoring report presented to the Hawai’i State Department of Education on Thursday.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Monitoring Report presented across the board ratings of “meets expectations.”

“The progress that Hawai’i made in its education transformation is incredible. Much credit goes to the state’s educators and school leaders for showing tremendous courage and doing the hard work to improve outcomes for all students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “From instituting afterschool and summer enrichment programs at the state’s lowest performing schools to providing toolkits and resources to help teachers smoothly transition to the state’s new, higher academic standards, Hawai’i is a model for the rest of the country. I congratulate the state for its accomplishments, and I hope the state continues its leadership in improving outcomes for all students.”

DOE officials say that in the 2013-14 school year, the department was granted its ESEA flexibility waiver. The waiver assisted the Strive HI Performance system, Hawai’i’s new school accountability and improvement system.

With the new improvement system, many of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, which had been deemed outdated, were replaced. The new benchmarks better aided the goals of the DOE and Hawai’i State Board of Education Plan.

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“A critical step in our transformation was getting approval for multiple measures of success, so that recognition and supports can be tailored to the needs of Hawai’i’s students, educators and schools,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The amount of change that has taken place has not been easy. There have been bumps in the road, and we’re still making adjustments based on ongoing feedback from teachers and principals. However, this report validates our strategic direction and our momentum in keeping Hawai’i public schools on an upward trajectory.”

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The four-page summary report praised the establishment of the Complex Area Support Teams system, which was created to help schools in planning resources, staffing, and to support the strategic plan strategies.

In addition, the report noted the state’s achievements in its data collection mechanisms. It also recommended some strategies to strengthen the impact of changes that have occurred recently to the use of the Tripod Student Survey in the Educator Effectiveness System. Hawai’i DOE officials say work on those recommendations is in progress.

“Teachers and principals play a critical role in ensuring that we have a performance system that supports success,” Superintendent Matayoshi said.

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To view the monitoring report or learn more about the Strive HI Performance system, visit the Hawai’i DOE website.

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